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Louisville Approves Needle Exchange Program


Kentucky's largest city has approved a needle exchange program in an effort to combat the state's heroin epidemic.

The 22-0 vote on Thursday came less than a month after a new state law allowing local governments to set up needle-exchange programs took effect. The law aimed at reducing heroin deaths also allows first responders to give Naloxone to overdose victims.

Local media reported Louisville is the first city to establish a program since the passage of the state law.

The ordinance allows the metro health department to set up a substance-abuse treatment outreach program where participants can exchange used hypodermic needles and syringes for clean ones.

Councilman Bill Hollander said officials saw a "critical need" for the program.

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